April 13, 2018 / 2:51 AM / 2 years ago

China's first quarter trade surplus with U.S. rises 19.4 percent year on year

Containers are seen at the Yangshan Deep Water Port, part of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, in Shanghai, China March 14, 2018. REUTERS/Aly Song

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s trade surplus with the United States rose 19.4 percent in the first quarter to $58.25 billion from the same period a year earlier, customs said on Friday.

China’s March trade surplus with the U.S. fell to $15.32 billion, according to Reuters calculations based on official data, compared with $20.96 billion for February.

The data follows weeks of tit-for-tat tariff threats by Washington and Beijing, sparked by U.S. frustration with China’s massive bilateral trade surplus and intellectual property policies, which have fueled fears of a global trade war.

China’s exports to the U.S. increased 14.8 percent from a year earlier in January-March period, spokesman Huang Songping told a briefing in Beijing, while imports from the U.S. also rose 8.9 percent.

Customs has not yet released the data for March.

Reporting by Elias Glenn and Beijing Monitoring Desk; Editing by Kim Coghill

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